Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC
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Today, Barry’s is on the cusp of continued global expansion with over 100,000 members working out weekly in studios in over a dozen different countries.

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Today, Barry’s is on the cusp of continued global expansion with over 100,000 members working out weekly in studios in over a dozen different countries.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of validating a deceased person’s will in a court of law. During this process, the person appointed as the executor of the estate assumes their given responsibilities in administering the estate according to the will. This includes locating and determining all estate assets, paying existing debt and expenses. They are responsible for then distributing the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries and heirs as the deceased requested. If there is no will, then the court will have jurisdiction over the distribution of a decedent’s estate.

  • Assets are subject to probate when they are listed in a will but the designated heir is no longer alive or there is no designated heir. They are also subject to probate when there is no will.
  • Assets that are not subject to probate are jointly owned properties, assets in a living trust, and life insurance with beneficiaries already named. Though probate is necessary in some cases, it is not preferable.
Reasons to Avoid Probate

Many people want to avoid probate for several reasons, including:

  • Probate cases become part of the public record. All documents and information regarding the assets and their distribution are available for public access.
  • Probate can be expensive. The court takes probate fees from the estate, and attorneys are usually involved which can be an unexpected cost.
  • The probate process can be slow and time consuming. The entire process often takes over six months.
  • While the will is in probate, the assets are unavailable to the heirs.
The Value of an Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney can help you organize your estate and prepare a will or trust. This can offer you and your loved ones peace of mind. Proper planning can allow your heirs to avoid probation and added expenses such as taxes. You may also be able to control and limit what parts of your estate can be subject to probate. Some ways you can do this are:

  • Establish a joint ownership with the person you intend to leave those assets.
  • Name beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts.
  • Set up a living trust
What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A revocable trust is created while you are still alive, and can be changed as needed. This is a valuable option when planning your estate. A revocable trust allows for the current and future handling of your assets and the heirs who will receive them after your passing. Until your death, you are in charge of the trust. After your death, the assets listed in the trust will be distributed in the manner which you intend. Essentially, a revocable trust serves the same purpose and has the same function of a will, but the trust’s assets are not subject to probate.

If you’ve asked yourself, “what is probate?” and would like for your heirs to avoid probate, proper estate planning with the help of an experienced attorney is necessary. An estate planning lawyer can help you to plan and organize your estate in a way that will be most beneficial to your loved ones.